There are several different types of water leaks that can occur in your home’s water supply or drain piping. If you can identify the type of leak that you have, you can more easily find the location of the leak and figure out what needs to be done to repair it. Use this guide to help you identify a leak in your water supply or drain piping.
Finding a leak can be tricky. We think of a water leak as a gushing flow of water coming out of a pipe, but in many cases, a leak is much more subtle. This doesn’t mean that a sneaky leak isn’t harmful, though; in fact, a hidden leak can be very destructive because it can go on for some time without detection, causing water damage and mold damage all the while.
Plumbing leaks can happen in lots of places, including shower pans, the condensation drain in your air conditioning unit, sump pump drains, water tanks, and water heaters. You can even get leaks from water running off the roof or the surface of the ground.
Water Supply Piping Leaks
- 1. Gusher Leaks: A gusher leak in water supply piping occurs when a pipe has burst. When the water is turned on in that area, a large amount of water will rush out of the broken pipe very quickly (hence the name, gusher). A gusher leak usually doesn’t go unnoticed for very long. Even if the broken pipe is in the basement or some other area where you don’t see the water coming out of the pipe right away, you’ll probably hear the sound of the water leaking.
- 2. Pinhole Leaks: A pinhole leak in water supply piping is a small leak in the plumbing pipes that typically occurs as the result of a pinhole in the pipe due to corrosion, a loose thread fitting, or damage to the pipe from a screw or nail. These types of leaks are smaller, leak less water, and are generally harder to find.
- 3. Faucet Leaks: Faucet leaks are leaks that occur in a faucet, most often around the valve stem packing. A faucet leak only leaks when the water is running. A visible faucet leak is one that you can see leaking when the faucet is turned on. An invisible faucet leak is leaking when the water is on, but you can’t see it because it is leaking into the wall cavity. This can go undetected for months, until you notice water stains on the wall or ceiling or develop mold damage.
Drain Piping Leaks
A leak in drain piping will leak only when there is waste water passing through the drain. If a drain piping leak occurs in an area that isn’t frequently used (such as a guest bathroom), it can take a while to notice that there is a leak happening. If you have a basement, you are more likely to see a leak in your drain piping. Drain piping that is located in a crawl space may go unnoticed for a longer time. Watch for signs such as mold growth or water stains in the ceiling below the drain. If the drain pipe has burst, water may gush out of it quickly, just like a gusher leak in water supply pipes.
If you have a water supply or drain piping leak, call Scott English Plumbing. We’ll help you find the exact location of the leak and get it fixed quickly, before any further damage is done. Call Scott English Plumbing to schedule a service call today.